" I have never had so many experiences like this before..." excitedly remarked Suzanne as she entered the car. Yes, we just enjoyed another thrilling day in the ministry. Things have picked up some steam of late so to speak. As of now there are seven needgreaters in the congregation and we have been able to much more effectively and thoroughly cover our territory. Each day we are finding people who not only speak English but are also spiritually hungry. I cannot describe the joy that resonates in the group when we recount our day and two or three of us are saying "...oh yeah, I had a good/great conversation/call/study this morning/ afternoon/evening too." "Oh, really how did it go?" "Well, this is what happened..."
For example last week while walking in between doors in house to house work one of the buses pulled over to the where we were standing. We were waiting for him to pass by and assumed he thought we wanted to ride the bus and stopped for us. So, naturally we began apologizing for the misunderstanding. "Lo siento pero no necessitamos..." To which the driver replied: " Do you have the Atalaya, the new one?" After being handed the latest copies he thanked us and continued his route.
About two Sundays ago during the Watch Tower study there was a knock on the door of the Kingdom Hall. When the door was open there entered a small framed older gentleman who came and sat down in the second row. After the meeting we were introduced to him and some of the local brothers mentioned they recognized him as someone who used to attend meetings years ago. In fact the gentleman himself told me he did attend meetings at one of the Spanish congregations about 10 years ago. Then a few weeks ago a sister from our congregation saw him while she was witnessing informally and invited him to attend the English meeting. Apparently in the intervening years this man has been attending various churches, searching, but has not found what he is looking for. Since coming to the Kingdom Hall two weeks ago he has not missed a meeting and he is having a bible study conducted with him several times per week!
While Suzanne and I were recently engaged in house to house we came to a door and the householder greeted us with an especially warm and friendly smile. After introducing ourselves and explaining our purpose in visiting she informed us her daughter was learning English in school and could speak it well. She introduced us to her little girl of about 7 or 8 years old who could indeed speak English well. The mom then informed us that she too studied English when she attended University but had not spoken it for many years. We offered her a Great Teacher book to help her instruct her daughter and she accepted it. When we returned to bring the book both mom and daughter were waiting for us. To our surprise after demonstrating how to use the book the mother goes to her closet and pulls out a copy of the Bible Teach book in Spanish. She says that someone used to study with her in the past. "Well, we asked her would you like to study again?" "Yes! she replied" with a big smile on her face. Suzanne gave her an English Bible Teach book and after doing two paragraphs with her then, we arranged to return two days later to continue the study. Two days later we returned and while conducting the study Suzanne noticed her book was underlined and remarked "oh, I must have given you an old book because it's already marked." "No..." she said"... I did that" showing us her book. She had studied and underlined the entire chapter! On the first study!! Later on during the study a neighbor came over to visit and we were introduced to her as "the people who gave her daughter the book about Jesus". Apparently her daughter has enjoyed The Great Teacher book so much she has been reading it with the daughter of the neighbor from across the street. Hmmm, another return visit in the making?
Each time we share in the ministry we seem to be enjoying experiences like these. With Memorial season here and the enthusiasm it brings to the congregation, things are very much abuzz here in Guasave. As we walk down the streets whether in house to house, public witnessing or just shopping in the mercado, people are beginning to recognize us. Many times they know who we are and why we are here, other times we're explaining to folks just curious as to why there are now Americans here in their little town.
To be honest at times all the attention gets a bit overwhelming. We sometimes would like just to be able to blend in or go to the store without being approached or having so much attention drawn on us. But when we start feeling that way we think about the chance it gives us to talk to others about Jehovah. We then are happy because we are enjoying a privilege of being used by Jehovah. We are like magnets, being used by Jehovah to attract people to his organization. Truth magnets indeed.